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Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

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PABGANA  KOSI.                                                     361
The principal annual melas, or fairs, are—1st, the Basahara, only started
between forty and fifty years ago by Lalu 8ingh3 khattri, and Darbari Singh,
baniya ;   2nd,   the   Muharram ; and 3rdiy, the  Phul-dol,  en   Ckait badi 2,
which is a general gathering for all the Jats of the Denda pal from Dah-ganw
Kot-ban, Nabi-pur, Umraura, and iNagara Hasan-pur.
In the centre of the town stands a large Sarae, covering nineaad-a-half bighas
of land, with high embattled walls, corner kiosques, and two arched gateways, all
of stone, ascribed to Khwaja rtibar Khan, governor of Delhi, in the reign of
the Emperor Akbar. On the inside there are ranges of vaulted apartments all
round, and the principal baziir lies between the two gateways. The building
has baea partially repaired by the municipality at a cost of Rs. 4,000, and if the
inner area could be better laid out, it might form a remunerative property. At
present it yields only an income of between Rs. 300 and 400 a year ; even that
being a considerable increase on what used to be realised. A large masonry
tank; of nearly equal area with the sarae, dates from, the same time, and is
called the Katnakar Kund, or more commonly the l pakka talao.' Unfortu-
nately it is always dry except daring the rains. The municipality were desir-
ous of having it repaired, but it was found that the cost would amount to
Bs. 3,500, a larger sum than the funds could afford. The enclosing walls are
twenty feet high and the exact measurement is 620 by 400 feet% Three other
tanks bear the names of Maya-kund, Bisakha-kund, and Gomati-kund, in
allusion to places so styled at the holy city of Dwaraka, or Kusasthali—a cir-
cumstance which has given rise to, or at least confirms, the popular belief that
Kosi is only a contraction of Kusasthali. The Gomati-kund, near which the
fair of the Phul-dol is held, Chait badi 2, is accounted the most sacred aad
is certainly the prettiest spot in the town. The pond is of considerable size,
but of very irregular shape and has a large island in the middle. There are
two or three masonry ghats, constructed by wealthy traders of the town, and
on. all sides of it there are a nnmber of small shrines and temples overshadowed
by fine kadamb, pipal, and bar trees, full of monkeys and peacocks ; while the
tank itself is the favourite haunt of aquatic birds of different kinds* There are
a few handsome and substantial private houses in the quarter of the town called
Baladeva Ganj ; but as a rule the shops and other buildings have a very mean
appearance; and though there are a number of Hindu temples and four "mosques,
they, too, are all quite modern and few have any architectural pretensions.
A little beyond the town on the Delhi side close to the new canal and not
far from the Idg&h is a tirath called Msibhai, with a masonry tank and temple,